The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

The Lovely BonesThis may be the most unusual weepie I’ve ever read. At the beginning of the story, 14 year old Susie Salmon is already dead. She’s just been brutally murdered by a quiet serial killer in her 1970’s neighborhood, and now she’s in heaven watching the results of her death unfold down on earth. It’s painful for her to see her younger sister become older than Susie ever will, her parent’s marriage start to disintegrate as they grieve for her, and the first boy she ever kissed begin to grow up and forget her. Maybe worse is seeing Mr. Harvey, her murderer, continue to live contentedly in the house a block away from her parents, as the search for her killer tapers off and is finally closed. Susie finds that heaven doesn’t mean eternal happiness. But it helps that whatever you imagine becomes part of your own personal heaven, and for Susie, that means an ornate gazebo, a high school that is all extracurricular activities and no studying, and a gazillion dogs to play with and cuddle whenever she wants. Susie is terrified that her family will forget her. But until they learn to let her go they will never be healed. And neither will Susie. A contemplative weepie that will make you think and cry and then think some more. (3 weepies)

14 thoughts on “The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

  1. It was a bit graphic in some places and left me crying but coming back for more. I recommended to other students in my 11th grade english class and we all enjoyed it.

  2. A really great book. Words can’t describe how well written it was. I read it in my Writing 12 class with a few other people, none of us wanted to put it down. Definitely one everyone should read, or at least consider reading.

  3. Still one of my favorites. Interesting to hear that its being taught in a writing course…

  4. This book was terrific. I spent my summer reading it whenever i found time, and it was near impossible to put down. I think everyone should at least consider reading it. Well written, and dramatically exiting and emotional at the same time, it made me delve into the depths of my inner soul. And i think it is a book that many ages can read, if you read well. After all, I’m 12 years old, and read it quite fluently, all the while trying to think ahead and infer the upcoming events in the book. It will definitely remain on my shelf until the later years of my life.

  5. Jordyn, I think you should definitely read it again when you are older. I think you’ll get even more out of it at 16 then you have at 12.

  6. gripping book i couldn’t put down
    you just want to let susie rip through the gates of heaven and go back down to earth to tell everyone who killed her

  7. Wonderful book, although the beginning and middle are very sad the ending is full of hope…I love this book!!

  8. Jen: Also, if you haven’t read any of Jodi Picoult’s books I think some may fit into your categories. I started with My Sister’s Keeper which was amazing and have read just about all of her books. I believe there is even a movie coming out for My Sister’s Keeper. Though I’m not sure if these books are targeted for YA I thought I’d throw it out there anyway.

  9. JLea,

    Thanks for the suggestion. I have read a few of Picoult’s books, and I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan. I think that they’re real page turners, but her patented “twist” at the end started to become a little predictable for me. That said, I know she is very popular with teens, and I think a great writer to use to transition into adult book from teen reads.

  10. This book was very good, but is on the wrong list. I would put it on a list with Thought-Provoking Books. I didn’t cry, but in the beginning it’s very sad. But you get over the fact of her death. Alice Sebold wrote it very well that I experienced something I never had in other books: feeling emotions for or towards the characters. When someone did something I wasn’t happy with, I would mentally be mad and even yell at them! (Yes, I sound insane, but this is how well she writes.) I would aim this book towards older teens (maybe 16 or older) because it is quite graphic. I am 14 and found it a little too mature for me. This book isn’t exactly what you’re going to expect when you read the summary – it’s better. Take a chance, and pick it up. It’s not scary like a horror – more disturbing, I would say – but very worthy of being read. Enjoy! 🙂

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